We would like to say a huge thank you to our Sponsored Athletes of 2017. We are incredibly proud to have sponsored this inspiring group of young people for the past year. Between them they have experienced many triumphs, a few minor 'disasters' and have 'treated both those imposters just the same'.
Although competing in a variety of sports requiring hugely differing skills, what they all have in common is their work ethic and commitment to their training and their sport. Some have had to contend with important exams this year and all have had to combine their training regime with school and homework, often working in lunch breaks, before school and in the backs of cars, not to mention finding time to produce blogs and updates for us!
Injuries have caused frustration for some, whilst driving long distances to train has been a challenge for others. Between them they've travelled miles throughout the UK and overseas and have climbed, sailed, paddled, run, shot and fenced in all weathers and conditions. Their hard work has brought results and podium places for many as well as the opportunity to represent their country on the European and World stages.
We hope that they have found their PGL sponsorship helpful and that they have enjoyed being part of the PGL team as much as we (and we hope you!), have enjoyed following their progress.
Rafael Rhys Pollitt has summed up his year as a PGL Sponsored Athlete:
"I end my year as it began, very thankful for the support of PGL in making me one of their sponsored athletes for 2017.
"The £500 does come in useful. For me, it helped to pay for a summer camp in Poland that really changed my fencing game, fed my mind with new thoughts and ideas, and gave me the opportunity to spar from dawn until dusk, until I did not know what was sweat and what were tears.
"But more than that, the real game-changer is the belief. It is the people and the organisation who don't really know me, yet who are prepared to put themselves out for me, and that is what happened with PGL. Go and try, they said. Go and use the money and see where it gets you, was their message.
"Let us know how you get on, they asked.
"With that money, with that belief, with that coming together of faith and funds in this sponsorship, I finish my fencing year as Under-14 British Boys Foil Champion, Under-15 England Boys Foil Champion and top of the Under-15 Boys Foil Rankings, nearly 10,000 points clear of my nearest rival. I end my year top of the Under-17 Great Britain Cadet Men's Foil Rankings, having now qualified by right to represent Great Britain at The European Championships in Sochi, Russia in 2018.
"We believe in you, said PGL. Go achieve, they hoped.
"Well, safe to say, PGL - you did me proud, and I'd be chuffed if you feel that I've managed to return the favour.
"And finally: Good luck to all future PGL Sponsored Athletes. I hope you get as much out of your year as I did.
"Thank you - Rafael Rhys Pollitt."
We wish all our Sponsored Athletes every success and look forward to hearing a lot more about them in the future.
For more information about all our athletes, visit: www.pgl.co.uk/athletes
By PGL Travel.